Agreement waiving spousal support upheld despite lack of legal advice

first_imgTORONTO – A woman who signed a deal without legal advice decades ago in which she agreed her spouse would never have to pay support if their relationship broke down has lost her bid to have the agreement set aside.In upholding a judge’s decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal said it found no error that would warrant overturning the cohabitation agreement Denise Boyda Smith inked 20 years ago.“She acknowledges that she was not coerced,” the Appeal Court said. “There is no suggestion that the income of the parties at the date of the agreement impacted her decision to sign the agreement.”Court documents show Boyda Smith and Johnny Smith began living together in March 1997. He had already been through one acrimonious separation and, in an effort at avoiding a repetition, he presented her with the agreement as a condition of continuing the relationship and buying a home, documents show.Boyda Smith signed without going to a lawyer, even though she had ample time to do so. The couple later had two children and got married, but their relationship fell apart in 2013 and she turned to the courts to have the agreement waiving spousal support set aside.Superior Court Justice Antonio Skarica ruled against her in March last year, prompting Boyda Smith to appeal. She argued Skarica’s ruling was in error because the agreement in which she waived support did not meet the provisions of the Divorce Act, which attempts to put separating spouses on substantially equal financial footing.Among other things, Boyda Smith argued a “power imbalance” existed between her and her spouse, that she had not discussed spousal support with him, and that he had failed to be fully upfront about his financial position.She also maintained the cohabitation agreement did not square with the Divorce Act because she bore primary responsibility for their children and he made more money than she did.In rejecting her arguments, the Appeal Court cited Supreme Court of Canada case law that mandates a judge look at the circumstances at the time a deal was signed, whether the agreement complies with the law on divorce, and whether it reflects the original intentions of the parties.Skarica found the couple had discussed the cohabitation agreement beforehand, that Boyda Smith did know his sources of income and assets, and that she opted to skim the document rather than read it all carefully, the Appeal Court said. It was also her choice not to consult a lawyer, and she thought the agreement fair when she signed it, the court noted.“There was no fraud, coercion, or duress,” the Appeal Court wrote. “The agreement is in substantial compliance with the Divorce Act. Both parties suffered economic disadvantages arising from the marriage.”last_img read more

Car thefts on rise in Canada as thieves target trucks SUVs insurance

first_imgTORONTO — A new report says choosy car thieves are setting their sights on Ford trucks and high-end SUVs as the number of automotive thefts continues to rise across the country.The Insurance Bureau of Canada says in its annual list of the most frequently stolen vehicles that the Ford F-Series trucks are again topping the list.Henry Tso, the board’s vice-president of investigative services, says thieves in Ontario and Alberta are going after trucks, while in Atlantic Canada the Nissan Maxima is stolen most often along with the Chevy Silverado and Jeep Liberty.New Brunswick saw the sharpest rise in thefts with a 28 per cent jump, with Ontario seeing a 15 per cent increase.Nationally, police reported close to 85,000 thefts in 2017 — a six per cent increase over 2016.The board says New Year’s Day is the most common time for vehicles to be stolen since they are often loaded with gifts. But, it says vehicles are often smuggled outside the country, sold to unsuspecting consumers, scrapped for parts or used to commit another crime with organized crime rings usually involved.The Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada says crime groups involved in auto thefts operate primarily out of Montreal and Toronto.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

California utility fined for its handling of nuke canisters

SAN ONOFRE, Calif. — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is fining the Southern California Edison utility $116,000 for violations in its handling of nuclear canisters at the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.The decision announced Monday in an online town hall meeting involves the transfer of radioactive nuclear waste containers from cooling pools to safer bunkers.The violations were a failure to have a backup system in case a fuel canister was dropped and failure to notify the commission within 24 hours after a canister was at risk of being dropped into an 18-foot-deep (5.5-meter-deep) bunker rather than being lowered.The Orange County Register reports Southern California Edison can dispute the fine but issued a statement indicating it would accept the penalty, saying the event should not have happened and takes full responsibility.___Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.comThe Associated Press read more

Iraq UN weapons inspectors submit final report

The UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, (UNMOVIC), which carried out inspections in Iraq until March 2003, shortly before armed action began in the country, said that it had created a unique monitoring mechanism for weapons of mass destruction and long-range delivery systems.The report, which was released today, says that UNMOVIC and its predecessor, the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM), put into practice many innovative verification and monitoring procedures and said that, through its training programme, UNMOVIC had created a roster of 350 experts in biological, chemical and missile areas, drawn from more than 50 countries.“The international community could benefit if practical ways were found to preserve for appropriate future use the experience and expertise accumulated over the years of the Special Commission and UNMOVIC operations,” the report says.The UN Special Commission (UNSCOM), set up at the end of the war in 1991, destroyed missiles, mobile launchers, fixed launch sites, chemical munitions, a chemical weapons complex and a germ warfare complex as well as tons of missile fuel, chemical warfare agents, precursor chemicals and bacteria growth media. UNMOVIC inspectors destroyed dozens of Iraqi Al Samoud 2 missiles and warheads, as well as launchers, shells filled with chemical weapons precursors and other arms. Since the Security Council formally shut down its operations last June , UNMOVIC has placed its archives in a secure storage facility, and disposed of its inspection equipment and non-hazardous materials that it collected during its mandate in Iraq – among them a mobile chemical laboratory from Baghdad that had been transferred to Kuwait. 10 June 2008United Nations inspectors monitoring weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq have submitted a final report after the shutdown of their operations last year, nearly two decades after they first started work on the issue. read more

Wind turbines like nightmare neighbours but law rigged court told

LONDON, Ont. — Wind turbines are like new neighbours who might drive you to distraction and out of your home because you have no legal way to deal with the situation, a packed Ontario court heard Monday.In submissions to Divisional Court, a lawyer for four families fighting large-scale wind-energy projects compared the turbines to a neighbour who is always noisy and in your face.“This neighbour never once ruptured your eardrums but that neighbour slowly drives you crazy,” Julian Falconer told the court. “These turbines are those nightmare neighbours.”The families are trying to get the court to declare provincial legislation related to the approvals of large-scale wind farms unconstitutional.In essence, they argue, the legislation makes it impossible to scuttle a project on the basis of potential health impacts.“The priority is to get the turbines up come hell or high water and that’s what they do,” Mr. Falconer said.“My clients have to wait until the turbines are spinning before they get to make an argument they must be stopped — it’s Alice in Wonderland.”The Drennans, who live near Goderich, Ont., are among the families involved in the first constitutional challenge to the Green Energy Act to reach the appellate court level.Twelve turbines of the proposed 140-turbine K2 Wind project are being put up within two kilometres of their long-held farmstead.“I must prove it will harm me, where if I was a drug company, they would have to prove they were safe,” Shawn Drennan said in an interview. “The wind company does not have to do that.”Mr. Falconer, who sought to introduce a new Health Canada study as fresh evidence, said the science on the health impacts of wind turbines is unsettled.A summary of the federal study released Nov. 6 turned up no direct link between wind-turbine noise and health effects, such as headaches, high blood pressure and stress.However, the study did uncover a link between turbine noise and “high annoyance.”“The findings support a potential link between long-term high annoyance and health,” the summary states. “We did find that people who were highly annoyed were more likely to report other health effects.”Mr. Falconer told the court that people have consistently reported being driven from their homes by turbines.At the same time, he said, provincial legislation makes it impossible for reasonable people to argue the turbines might harm them.“They must prove that it will harm them,” he said. “That’s constitutionally unsound.”The court, he said, should alter the “rigged” legislation to force authorities to consider a “reasonable prospect of harm” when approving a project.Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco, one of the three appellate judges hearing the case, admonished the courtroom crowd for applauding some of the submissions.Earlier in the day, a lawyer for a coalition of 14 community groups said the right of citizens to fight turbines on the basis of health impacts is illusory.In his submission, Richard Macklin noted the province’s Environmental Review Tribunal has heard 20 health-based challenges to wind farm projects.“They have all been unsuccessful,” Macklin said. “We see that as a cumulative charter violation.”In addition, Lambton county sought to intervene on the grounds that provincial legislation has usurped the right of municipalities to proactively regulate against potential harm to their residents.The judges said they would decide at a later point whether to allow the written interventions and admit the fresh evidence.The hearing continues Tuesday, when the government gets a chance to argue its case.Canadian Press read more

Lululemon shares down after retailers sales projections miss analyst estimates

VANCOUVER – Lululemon Athletica Inc. shares are down more than seven per cent in early going following fourth-quarter earnings projections from the clothing retailer.The Vancouver-based company (TSX:LLL) expects sales to be at the high end of its guidance and earnings will be better than the company expected.However, Lululemon’s updated sales guidance missed analyst estimates by several million dollars — adding weight to concerns that its growth is slowing.Lululemon stock was down $5.08, or 7.14 per cent, to $66.09 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.On Monday, the retailer said revenue for the key holiday quarter will be near the $475 million to $480 million previously forecast, based on a same-store sales percentage increase in the high single digits on a constant-dollar basis.The retailer also said it now expects diluted earnings per share of 74 cents for the quarter ending Feb. 3. That compared with earlier guidance of between 71 and 73 cents per share.The updated guidance compared with an average analyst estimate for 74 cents per share in earnings, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters. But analysts had estimated $488.1 million in sales revenue.Lululemon chief executive Christine Day said the results came as the calendar compressed holiday shopping patterns into a couple of key weeks.“We are also pleased that our gross margin is running slightly ahead of plan and that we are entering 2013 in a clean inventory position,” Day said in a statement.“Along with our new back-to-gym product, we are beginning to flow a beautiful new spring assortment into our stores this week and look forward to introducing new innovation and function to our guests in 2013.”The high single-digit percentage same-store sales growth for the company’s fourth quarter compares with 18 per cent comparable-store sales growth in the third quarter.Earlier this month, Credit Suisse downgraded Lululemon’s rating to “neutral” from sector “outperform” citing a likely slowdown in same-store sales momentum and the risk of further margin pressure.Credit Suisse said it expected further slowing in 2013, especially at “mature” stores in Canada, which comprise 59 per cent of the chain’s total sales and have already seen a slowdown in growth. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Jan 15, 2013 10:31 am MDT Lululemon shares down after retailer’s sales projections miss analyst estimates read more

Court tells department to give two children with Down syndrome maximum resource

first_imgA HIGH COURT judge has ruled that two children with Down syndrome be given the maximum resource teaching hours so they can stay in mainstream schooling.It comes following a dispute between two families and the Department of Education which Down syndrome Ireland (DSI) described as “landmark High Court challenge”.The Department is already involved in a review of the current scheme with National Council for Special Education also recommending that there no longer be a distinction between learning support and resource teachers.The High Court directed the department to provide over four hour hours a week of additional resource teaching to the children but the case is not expected to lead to a raft of similar rulings.But DSI CEO Pat Clarke said this evening that he hopes the ruling will lead to more resource hours being allocated to children who need them, adding that what is currently in place is an “unfair system”.“We hope that this is just the beginning of a wider process which will see all children with Down syndrome receive adequate resource teaching hours which, we believe, is their basic human right.”“All children with Down syndrome have multiple disabilities, and need additional resources in order to participate in mainstream schools,” he added.Read: Radical shake-up on the cards for country’s 10,000 special education teachers >Read: Special needs association hopes FF protest heckles don’t ‘distract from issues’ >last_img read more

Carberys class the key for Munster in evenlymatched Edinburgh tie

first_imgCarbery’s class the key for Munster in evenly-matched Edinburgh tie Johann van Graan’s men should be well-matched by Richard Cockerill’s Scots. By Murray Kinsella “WE’LL TRY AND out-Munster Munster, as we’re two sides that play quite similar rugby.”That’s how Edinburgh boss Richard Cockerill views this afternoon’s Champions Cup quarter-final at Murrayfield [KO 12.45pm, Virgin Media/Channel 4/BT Sport] and it’s difficult to disagree.Here are two sides who kick well, particularly from scrum-half.  Murray starts at 9 for Munster. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHOEight of Conor Murray’s kicks in this competition this season have resulted in opposition errors, while a further four have been regathered by his team-mates. Edinburgh scrum-half Henry Pyrgos is similarly effective with the boot, forcing seven errors from opponents under his box kicks, with another two won back.Both sides possess ball-carrying quality, with the Scots boasting the tournament’s busiest carrier in number eight Viliame Mata, who has charged into contact 115 times. Munster’s CJ Stander is second on the list, although some distance behind on 88.The two packs are aggressive propositions, with the Irish province’s Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne leading a ceaseless quest for turnovers, the second row topping that chart with 13 and captain O’Mahony having six so far, as well as a further five lineout steals.Hamish Watson, who forms a mean-looking Edinburgh back row with Mata and John Barclay – man of the match against Leinster last weekend on his return from a long-term Achilles tendon injury – boasts seven turnovers so far. The set-piece contest will be riveting. Edinburgh, with an excellent second row of Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis have hit 90% in the lineout in Europe this season, while Munster will be looking for improvement after winning 79% of their throws.Edinburgh lock Toolis sits top of the lineout steals list along with O’Mahony on five, so expect an extreme contest out of touch. Ben Toolis is a key man for Edinburgh. Source: Craig Watson/INPHOJohann van Graan’s men had the most frugal defence of any team in the competition during their pool run, conceding an average of just 12 points per game and only 1.5 tries.Edinburgh, unsurprisingly, weren’t far off that standard, with only Munster and Saracens being stingier in defence than Richard Cockerill’s team.  The scrum should be evenly matched too, with Edinburgh’s front row made up of captain Stuart McInally, fellow Scotland international WP Nel and the in-form South African loosehead prop Pierre Schoeman.  Munster have Test quality of their own, of course, with Dave Kilcoyne having enjoyed an excellent Six Nations. He teams up with John Ryan and hooker Niall Scannell, with Beirne and the ever-aggressive Jean Kleyn pushing from behind.The maul will be another key battleground at Murrayfield. Both sides take pride in the inches won at maul time and it’s one area where Munster’s Jack O’Donoghue – selected at openside after a brilliant performance last weekend against Zebre – generally excels.It feels like this will be a dogfight of a game, with vicious collisions, a few flare-ups after the whistle, and a general ferocity in all aspects.Who can break through the brawn? Carbery extended his contract through to 2022 earlier this week. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOJoey Carbery – fresh from extending his Munster contract until June 2022 – seems an ideal candidate, having been passed fit for his first appearance since playing for Ireland against Scotland at this same stadium seven weeks ago.It’s been a long stint on the sidelines with a hamstring injury but Carbery’s ability to break defences with his running, attacking kicking and passing could be the key.The backline outside him appears stronger than Edinburgh’s, with the glue-like Rory Scannell teaming up with Chris Farrell in midfield. Farrell’s ability to attract multiple defenders and pass as well as carry makes him an important figure.Munster’s back three of Keith Earls, Andrew Conway and Mike Haley provides finishing quality and defensive nous.Breakout Scotland star Darcy Graham – who punches well above his weight and has made 12 linebreaks in this tournament – is at fullback for Edinburgh in Blair Kinghorn’s injury absence, while South African flyer Duhan van der Merwe – 10 clean breaks – is a thrilling attacking threat too.James Johnstone’s footwork must be respected in Edinburgh’s 13 shirt, but Munster might feel they have the more incisive backline – if their pack can provide the platform for them to display as much.Goal-kicking may be vital and with Carbery kicking at 84% off the tee so far in this competition and Edinburgh’s Jaco van der Walt not far behind on 80%, even that area should be close. Cockerilll has been earning praise for his work at Edinburgh. Source: Craig Watson/INPHOBoth benches offer quality, with Cockerill able to call on current Scotland international front rows Allan Dell and Simon Berghan, exciting backs Simon Hickey and Mark Bennett, and dynamic back row pair Magnus Bradbury and Jamie Ritchie.Munster, meanwhile, have the in-form Alby Mathewson to back-up Murray, while Tyler Bleyendaal showed up well off the bench against Zebre last weekend. Billy Holland was a vital impact sub during the closing games of the pool stages.With Munster playing in the knock-out stages of this competition for the 18th time, versus Edinburgh’s third, history indicates that the visiting Irish province will be better equipped to rise to this occasion.Edinburgh, however, will believe they are the coming team, having built impressively under Cockerill and enjoying the advantage of playing at home again, where they have lost only once this season.After the superb performance in hammering Gloucester away in January set a new standard for van Graan’s side, a Munster win in Edinburgh today would strongly underline that they are now a true European force.Edinburgh:15. Darcy Graham14. Damien Hoyland13. James Johnstone12. Chris Dean11. Duhan van der Merwe10. Jaco van der Walt9. Henry Pyrgos1. Pierre Schoeman2. Stuart McInally (captain)3. WP Nel4. Ben Toolis5. Grant Gilchrist6. John Barclay7. Hamish Watson8. Viliame MataReplacements:16. Ross Ford17. Allan Dell18. Simon Berghan19. Magnus Bradbury20. Jamie Ritchie21. Charlie Shiel22. Simon Hickey23. Mark BennettMunster:15. Mike Haley14. Andrew Conway13. Chris Farrell12. Rory Scannell11. Keith Earls10. Joey Carbery9. Conor Murray1. Dave Kilcoyne2. Niall Scannell3. John Ryan4. Jean Kleyn5. Tadhg Beirne6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)7. Jack O’Donoghue8. CJ StanderReplacements:16. Rhys Marshall17. Jeremy Loughman18. Stephen Archer19. Billy Holland20. Arno Botha21. Alby Mathewson22. Tyler Bleyendaal23. Dan GogginReferee: Pascal Gauzère [France].Murray Kinsella and Bernard Jackman look ahead to a huge weekend for the provinces in Europe and Ryan Bailey catches up with Ian Keatley on the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly: Share45 Tweet Email1 21 Comments Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloudSubscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: 16,240 Views https://the42.ie/4567086 Saturday 30 Mar 2019, 7:00 AM Mar 30th 2019, 7:01 AM Subscribe Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Gerrard proud of Rangers players

The manager was happy after his team was able to get a point from their visit to Villarreal tonight in the UEFA Europa LeagueScotland’s Rangers and Spain’s Villarreal drew today 2-2 at Estadio de la Ceramica.And for the Scottish club manager Steven Gerrard, the performance by his players tonight at the UEFA Europa League made him proud.“It is a fantastic result and a result where I am very proud of the players tonight in terms of their effort and application,” he told Rangers TV.“I asked them at half-time to just show a little bit more belief and confidence once we enter the final third because our build-up play and our football in the first half but I thought when we got into areas we didn’t really capitalize on our good play.”“But the second half performance was very strong and there were some big performance out there again for us. The players deserve a lot of credit again,” he continued.“I think if you take into consideration the stage, the opponent and the qualities of their individuals, it is certainly right up there [in terms of best performances so far].”Guiseppe Rossi, Villarreal, ItalyReport: Former United man Rossi almost went to Barca George Patchias – September 9, 2019 Former Manchester United starlet Giuseppe Rossi almost joined Barcelona.Currently without a club, and having trained most recently back at his old stomping ground of…“They are certainly in a false position in terms of league. They finished fifth last season and spent 70million,” he spoke about Villarreal.“I am sure they will move up the table in time. For us to come here as a side which is relatively new and still in the early stages, to come and perform as we did, certainly in the second half, the players have to take confidence and belief from that.”? Read Steven Gerrard’s reaction to tonight’s @EuropaLeague match against @VillarrealCF.➡️ https://t.co/jJaxh434MX pic.twitter.com/ls7nrU3YrY— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) September 20, 2018 read more

Atlanta presentation a hit Travel Agents say Turks and Caicos has the

first_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 19 May 2015 – Around 75 travel executives were at the City Club of Buckhead on Monday evening for the opening event of the Premier’s Sales and Investment Blitz. Atlanta was the first stop on the tour and much of the morning was spent moving out of the state of Georgia into the largest U.S. state of them all for a double date; Dallas and Houston in Texas are expected to be a unique stop in the road trip. The first promotional meeting featured a brief welcome from Premier Rufus Ewing and Tourism Minister Porsha Smith.“You may know Turks and Caicos for a beautiful set of islands that are known for great beaches, are known for luxury high end luxury resorts, and I’m sure those of you who visited Turks & Caicos before could attest to that. We provide great service, high end world class resorts, and that is why it was voted as the number one island destination in the world, the most beautiful island in the world, Turks and Caicos Islands”. Premier said.The Hotel and Tourism Association was particularly thrilled at the reception of the promotional video which highlighted every island in the chain. When Magnetic Media surveyed the room, the travel professionals explained that the lure of the TCI is that there is the absence of certain big city features; guests want to escape to a simpler life that is environmentally pure, super safe for their families and boasting uber luxury. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Turquoise Morning shows Caribbean & US highlights of TCI Sales & Investment Blitz TCI Haye-Smith runs Olympic standard time Atlanta Weather forecast Related Items:atlanta, city club of buckhead, premier’s sales blitz, travel agentslast_img read more

Obamas boldest move on carbon comes with perils

first_imgWASHINGTON — The new pollution rule the Obama administration announces Monday will be a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy and arguably the most significant U.S. environmental regulation in decades.But it’s not one the White House wanted.As with other issues, the regulation to limit the pollution blamed for global warming from power plants is a compromise for Obama, who again finds himself caught between his aspirations and what is politically and legally possible.It will provoke a messy and drawn-out fight with states and companies that produce electricity, and may not be settled until the eve of the next presidential election in 2016, or beyond.“It’s going to be like eating spaghetti with a spoon. It can be done, but it’s going to be messy and slow,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.At the crux of the problem is Obama’s use of a 1970 law that was not intended to regulate the gases blamed for global warming. Obama was forced to rely on the Clean Air Act after he tried and failed to get Congress to pass a new law during his first term. When the Republicans took over the House, the goal became impossible.last_img read more

Voting postponed for lunch in 3 centres

first_imgVoting postponed for ‘lunch’ in 3 centresVoting was postponed for around two hours in three centres of the Dhaka-14 constituency for “lunch” though the regulations say voting must continue uninterrupted from 8:00am to 4:00pm.The three centres are Darus Salam High School, BADC High School and FM School.“Lunch boxes” were reportedly provided by the ruling party candidate for the constituency Aslamul Haque MP.Several hundreds of voters, waiting in line, grew irate and argued with members of law enforcement agencies due to this unlawful postponement.More than a hundred voters were waiting outside the Darus Salam High School gate around 12:00pm for more than an hour, Shahidul, a voter said.Hearing the allegations of the voters, newsmen went inside the Darus Salam High School and found the election officers, police and activists of the ruling Awami League having lunch.The centre’s presiding officer Saiful Islam pretended that he was unaware of the incident and said he was busy casting his vote.However, the voting did not start for the next half of an hour.The opposition candidate Syed Abu Bakar SIddique Saju of the constituency, who has been contesting with the sheaf of paddy election symbol, said the officials might have rigged the votes there.last_img read more

Afghan capital rebuilds from ashes of war

first_imgAfghan residents walk across a bridge on the outskirts of Kabul on 29 June 2018. Photo: AFPThe aging Ariana Afghan Airlines Boeing 727 took off from Islamabad with about 10 passengers, myself included, huddled near the exits, bound for war-torn Kabul months after the 2001 fall of the Taliban.The Afghan capital had been consigned to rubble by rocket-propelled grenades and artillery fire, first in fighting between mujahideen warriors and the Soviets after their invasion in 1979, and then between different mujahideen factions.The airport was fringed with burnt out fighter planes and scores of people, a skewer in each hand, scouring the tarmac for landmines. Someone put a ladder up against the fuselage, opened a flap, poured in some liquid and threw the empty can over his shoulder.Fast forward 16 years, or four World Cups.I fly in from Dubai, sipping red wine as we descend into Kabul, once famous for its sprawling palaces and scented gardens, where security has deteriorated in recent months but where many of the scars of decades of war have disappeared.Shining blocks of flats in the west of the city have replaced the debris, behind lines of stalls and shops selling fresh vegetables, smart phones, fashion and kitchenware and the all-important building materials.The memory of women bowed by the all-enveloping burqa, enforced under Taliban rule, trudging past destroyed homes has also been wiped clean amid talk of possible further Taliban ceasefires, upcoming elections, the national cricket team’s first “test” match against India – and the World Cup.“The city has been transformed,” said Omaid Sharifi, co-founder of ArtLords, a grassroots movement promoting Afghan culture, a play on words on “warlords”.“On the street, boys and girls are walking together. The community is more tolerant and outgoing. There is art, culture and music. People are contributing. People are being more kind.”“DARKEST PERIOD”Four women, their made-up faces free of veils, giggle as their car takes on the hectic traffic of workaday Kabul. A top-of-the-range tailor shows off his ware in a long, air-conditioned shop that would not be out of place in Paris.“Business is good now and getting better,” the tailor said. “My quality is number one. European standards. I am happy.”Cafes have popped up down lanes where musicians and artists, who thrived in the pre-Soviet invasion days, have returned. But this part of the city is also home to many fair-skinned Hazaras, an Afghan minority often targeted by militants.The Taliban took control in 1996, imposing strict Islamic law, and the city has suffered wave after wave of bomb attacks since their ouster in 2001. The diplomatic centre of Kabul remains a grim array of concrete channels, lined by reinforced concrete walls, barbed wire and security posts.“That was the darkest period,” said Sharifi, of the years of Taliban rule. “You couldn’t even listen to music.”He remembers being taken to see football matches by his father. Twice, the games were preceded by executions.“My father tried to protect me and close my eyes. But a kid’s curiosity – I could see with one eye. A bunch of guys turned up in three cars and killed the men. Like sheep.”So what next for the fast-growing capital, sitting between the khaki mountains of the Hindu Kush? An unprecedented three-day ceasefire by the Taliban over last month’s Eid festive period brought them roaming into the capital for hugs and selfies and raised hopes for many of a longer peace.“You can’t ignore the Taliban,” Sharifi said. “But there are red lines. If they come back and join the political process, we will be there with our art. People can’t just keep killing.”The tailor agreed.“If the Taliban come back, it will be with a new government, not like before,” he said. “We will have a good future if there is no fighting.”last_img read more

Shipment of Uncharted 4 A Thiefs End has been stolen

first_imgUncharted 4: A Thief’s End has a worldwide release date of May 10, but that launch day has well and truly been broken. Not by stores shipping pre-orders early, but because a real-life thief has stolen a shipment of the game and is selling copies to used game stores.The theft happened in the UK with copies of the game being stolen while in transit. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studio, has confirmed the theft happened in a post on the PlayStation.Blog. Sony is now working with the police to find the thief (or thieves), but is warning gamers there might be a few spoilers appearing on the Internet in the coming days as the stolen copies inevitably get played.So far there have been two confirmed purchases of the game. Retailer CEX has received copies, which it bought and then resold. This may actually help the police find out who stole the game as CEX may have requested a photo ID be presented and the store may have camera footage of the sale taking place, which both help identify the potential thief.Some gamers who pre-ordered Uncharted 4 have apparently received dispatch emails, meaning they will likely have the game to play this week. If that turns out to be the case, other retailers will follow and release the game early. Then it’s up to Sony to ensure however much stock was stolen gets replaced quickly to keep up with demand.In the long run, this theft won’t impact sales very much, but I’m sure Sony is very interested to know how the thief knew where the games were to steal them. Or maybe they just got lucky? Whatever the case, it’s only fitting that when the thief is eventually caught, he meets a thief’s end, meaning a prosecution.last_img read more

Researchers develop technique for enhanced reversibility of a phasetransforming material

first_img © 2013 Phys.org More information: Enhanced reversibility and unusual microstructure of a phase-transforming material, Nature 502, 85–88 (03 October 2013) DOI: 10.1038/nature12532AbstractMaterials undergoing reversible solid-to-solid martensitic phase transformations are desirable for applications in medical sensors and actuators, eco-friendly refrigerators and energy conversion devices4. The ability to pass back and forth through the phase transformation many times without degradation of properties (termed ‘reversibility’) is critical for these applications. Materials tuned to satisfy a certain geometric compatibility condition have been shown to exhibit high reversibility, measured by low hysteresis and small migration of transformation temperature under cycling. Recently, stronger compatibility conditions called the ‘cofactor conditions’5, 15 have been proposed theoretically to achieve even better reversibility. Here we report the enhanced reversibility and unusual microstructure of the first martensitic material, Zn45Au30Cu25, that closely satisfies the cofactor conditions. We observe four striking properties of this material. (1) Despite a transformation strain of 8%, the transformation temperature shifts less than 0.5?°C after more than 16,000 thermal cycles. For comparison, the transformation temperature of the ubiquitous NiTi alloy shifts up to 20?°C in the first 20 cycles9, 16. (2) The hysteresis remains approximately 2?°C during this cycling. For comparison, the hysteresis of the NiTi alloy is up to 70?°C (refs 9, 12). (3) The alloy exhibits an unusual riverine microstructure of martensite not seen in other martensites. (4) Unlike that of typical polycrystal martensites, its microstructure changes drastically in consecutive transformation cycles, whereas macroscopic properties such as transformation temperature and latent heat are nearly reproducible. These results promise a concrete strategy for seeking ultra-reliable martensitic materials. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Various hierarchical microstructures in Au30, the alloy most closely satisfying the cofactor conditions for both type I and type II twin systems. Credit: Nature 502, 85–88 (03 October 2013) doi:10.1038/nature12532 Citation: Researchers develop technique for enhanced reversibility of a phase-transforming material (2013, October 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-technique-reversibility-phase-transforming-material.htmlcenter_img (Phys.org) —A team of researchers at Minnesota State University has created a martensitic metal alloy that degrades very little after application of more than 16,000 thermal cycles. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they applied mathematical theory to a zinc-gold-copper alloy and found it markedly improved the alloy’s ability to withstand degradation due to multiple heating-cooling cycles. Journal information: Nature Researchers devise a means to obtain abnormal grain growth in metal using cyclic heat treatment Metals that return to a previous physical shape after being changed (bent, crumpled, etc.) using certain techniques are called a martensitic metals—typically they are created by mixing two or more metals together to create an alloy and then applying heat to cause the metal to revert back to a desired state after being deformed. Scientists have been working steadily for many years to create different metal alloys for different purposes—martensitic metals in particular are highly prized because they can be put to special purposes such as in creating stents for medical purposes. But martensitic metals have one major drawback, they can only be disfigured and reversed a few times before they start to degrade, making them unsuitable for further use. In this new effort, the research team in Minnesota has found a way to create one alloy that is able to withstand thousands of heating-cooling cycles without losing its reversibility attributes.Their success the team explains, came about as a result of applying known mathematical theories related to stress properties of metals. Martensitic metals degrade because of changes to a transition layer between the different phases. Working the formulas, they report allowed them to eliminate this layer, effectively removing the part of the alloy that allowed for degradation.To test their idea, the team chose a metal alloy that had previously been found to be very robust when exposed to repeated thermal cycles. They then fine-tuned the proportions of the base metal ingredients to conform with what they had worked out with the math formulas until they hit on one that was nearly impervious to repeated thermal cycles.The team reports that the alloy they developed also had an unusual riverine microstructure not seen before in a martensitic metal. Perhaps more importantly, it appears that their technique might work with other alloys or non-metal materials, allowing for the creation of as yet unimagined real-world materials in a variety of applications.last_img read more

Gus Kenworthys funny leave me alone Adam Rippon tweet upset people

first_imgI love you both! Don’t make me choose. pic.twitter.com/hv5fbuezvP— Mr. Happiness (@Freudenfreude) February 25, 2018‘I love you both don’t make me choose,’ wrote another user alongside a GIF of a girl crying uncontrollably and forcing ice cream into her mouth.You are so rude! That’s what I will remember about you at the Olympics!!— sharon (@anderson7_63) February 25, 2018 Adam Rippon (Left) and Gus Kenworthy pose during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Korea (Picture: Gus Kenworthy/Twitter) Except, many fans were momentarily confused, seeming to take the witty and sarcastic remark the wrong way.Kenworthy made history at this year’s games when he and boyfriend Matt Wilkas kissed live on television.Taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea, on Sunday (25 February), the athlete took to Twitter and posted a picture of himself and Rippon posing at the 2018 Games closing ceremony.Gus Kenworthy to Adam Rippon: ‘I can’t anymore’The picture showed the friends cuddling and smiling as the Parade of Nations circulated in the background.Two weeks ago, at opening ceremonies, we met and a friendship began. Today, at closing ceremonies, it ends. @Adaripp, please stop calling me. You’re honestly starting to get v clingy and I can’t anymore. pic.twitter.com/h9GArWda9b— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 25, 2018 Captioning the Tweet, Kenworthy said: ‘Two weeks ago, at opening ceremonies, we met and a friendship began.‘Today, at closing ceremonies, it ends.‘@Adaripp, please stop calling me. You’re honestly starting to get v clingy and I can’t anymore,’ he continued. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Winter Olympian Gus Kenworthy bid a hilarious farewell to Team USA teammate Adam Rippon on Sunday. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) 7 best Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy moments from the OlympicsAdam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy: ‘We’re here, we’re queer’Gay Olympian Gus Kenworthy: Anti-LGBT VP Mike Pence is ‘bad fit’ to lead Winter Olympics delegationRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/gus-kenworthy-hilarious-rippon-farewell/ GAYSTARNEWS- L-R: Adam Rippon, Brittany Bowe and Gus Kenworthy are all openly gay members of Team USA (Photo: @brittanybowe | Instagram)Relax guys, Gus is ONLY JOKINGOf course, after his televised kiss, razor-sharp responses to homophobes and his friendship with outspoken icon Adam Rippon, the Twittersphere is hanging off his every word.But for some overly-keen fans, his witty social media post was just too much to handle.Some fans immediately professed their love for the Team USA friends, worried that the dissolution of their friendship was real.However, those upset fans were quickly informed that it was, indeed, a joke.Why make the statement? Its not funny.— Dennis Wagner (@DennisWagner13) February 25, 2018One disgruntled Twitter user simply wrote: ‘Why make the statement. Its not funny.’Meanwhile, another upset user took to share his grief at the thought of the friendship being left in PyeongChang.last_img read more

Here are the low rates for Apples new credit card

first_imgOn its new Apple Card website, Apple shared more details about its newest payment method: a credit card backed by Goldman Sachs and on the MasterCard network. The digital (and accompanying physical titanium card) card was introduced Monday at Apple’s event to showcase new video streaming, gaming, and news services. The new card that’s used through the iPhone’s Wallet app won’t arrive in the U.S. until summer, but that didn’t stop Apple execs from hyping the card.But to get any of the details about the card, you have to keep scrolling on the new Apple Card site to find anything. In the fine-print footnotes, that “lower interest rate” discussed at the event was finally specified. The site states, “Variable APRs range from 13.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness. Rates as of March 2019.”Read the fine print.Image: mashableCredit Karma reported the average annual percentage rate, or APR, for all credit cards from banks in 2017 was 12.54 percent. At the end of 2018 it was just above 16 percent, according to Nerd Wallet. Those averages are based on Federal Reserve data. The latest Fed average for all credit card plans throughout all of 2018 was 14.22 percent, just about two points higher than Apple’s lowest rate.Interest rates fluctuate based on lending rates, so Apple may change its APR — that’s why it’s listed as variable.Now it makes sense why those specific rates weren’t splashed on the Apple theater screen like other perks about the card, like no international fees and 2 percent cash back on Apple Pay purchases. A 24 percent APR is considered pretty high and certainly doesn’t qualify as “low.” The other end of the range is on par with other credit cards.Here’s a bit more disappointment about the card: it won’t be contactless, although we didn’t really think it would be. As CreditCards.com analyst Ted Rossman pointed out, U.S. Bank offers a card with 3 percent cash back for “mobile wallet spending,” so that’s a better reward than Apple’s own card offers for Apple Pay transactions.It just goes to show: You have to read the fine print. UPDATE: March 25, 2019, 10 p.m. PDT We added the latest Federal Reserve credit card plan average for 2018 and an explanation about how these rates fluctuate. DisclosureEvery product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.Apple was light on the specifics for its new Apple Card.Image: apple / screengrabBy Sasha Lekach2019-03-26 01:18:38 UTCcenter_img Mastercard spokeswoman just confirmed to me that the Apple Card physical credit card won’t be contactless. Oh well.— Ben Fox Rubin (@benfoxrubin) March 25, 2019last_img read more